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OUP “Word of the Year”

Oxford University Press (OUP) has announced its ‘Oxford Word of the Year 2019’ and  ‘Climate Emergency.’ It was also no surprise to see the short list for the entire year was full of references to ‘Climate‘.

climate emergency

‘Climate Emergency’ saw an increase of 10,796% year on year increase in 2019. Others from the short list with high year on year increases include “Climate Action”  with 266%, “Climate Crisis” with 2,510% “Global Heating” with 18,358% “Eco-Anxiety” with 4,291% and “Ecocide” having an increase of 681%. There are other words too ‘Climate Denial’, ‘Eco-anxiety’, ‘Flight Shame’ and even ‘Extinction’.

2019 has seen a huge increase in awareness of climate change and the issues we, as the human race, and also wildlife are facing. As well as the most highly visible, older action groups such as GreenpeaceCeres and the WWF 2019 has seen the rise of the new kids on the block – Extinction Rebellion (Belated Happy 1st Birthday wishes), and activists such as @Greta Thunberg raising the awareness of the views of the youngest of the generations.

The Climate Emergency is swiftly moving at a pace where we will not, as a race, be able to reverse the damage which has been done in the decades preceding the current one. The next decade will see climate and ecological disruption at catastrophic levels and this will be as a result of ongoing Biodiversity Loss, Extreme Weather Events, Desertification, Crop Failure, Water Shortages, Rising Sea Levels and Wildfires.

These will in turn lead to disease, the displacement of millions of people, the increased risk of conflicts and wars and thus, have a major impact on the human rights of everyone affected by these negative events.

 

For a look at the full article on the Word of the Year and the shortlist check out the OUP website here.

For full up to date information on the Climate Emergency check out the Extinction Rebellion website here.

xtr

 

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Word of the Day

Today’s word is ‘Wonderwall’ and today’s dictionary is Urban Dictionary

I chose this word because this is also today’s earworm. I’m hoping by putting ‘IT’ out there it may be gone from my ear and I can concentrate on other things – like writing!

Wonderwall

  • somebody you find yourself thinking about constantly; you are completely infatuated with them.

‘[…] she’s my wonderwall’

wonderwall
Picture from themindsjournal.com
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Daily Writing Meme

eAnyone doing NaNoWriMo will totally understand this image, especially now we’re all 13 days in and may, or may not be meeting our targets. My desk doesn’t look quite as bad as this but I have a pile of text books and two notebooks of stuff I’m hoping to use within the project.  I’ve finally settled to how to balance my blog and my writing. I will do social media for a couple of hours every morning so I can keep up with what is going on out there and from lunchtime onwards will write continually until it’s time to prepare dinner in the evening. It has only taken me a number of stressful days to realise this and get my head sorted out – panic was starting to take over and I didn’t want 1 or the other of the 2 to not be done. If you’re doing NaNo 2019 good luck. If you’re not good luck with whatever you’re working on! Until next time! NN 🙂

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I’ve Been Nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award

I arrived back to Nattinatters HQ today to find my blog has been nominated for the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award’ by a writer whose writing and blog I greatly admire. PeterWynMosey’s short stories and daily writing challenges set by other bloggers and writers are of a very high standard which makes me wonder why he follows me and has nominated me for the award as I feel I still have a long way to go before my writing reaches his standard. Thank you Peter for nominating me regardless 🙂

To accept the nomination I have to

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog 
  • List the rules and display an award logo on blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 new blogs.
  • Ask nominees 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display an award logo on blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions
  • Nominate 11 new blogs.
  • Ask nominees 11 new questions

 

sunshine-blogger-award

 

MY ANSWERS TO PETER’S QUESTIONS

What is your favourite song, and when did you first hear it?

I have 2 and I wrote a blog post about favourite songs/lyrics not too long ago. Here’s a link to that post.

If you became the leader of the country that you live, what would be the first thing that you would change? 

There’s so much going on with this country right now (the United Kingdom). I’ve lost all faith in the politicians who are supposed to be running this country and are making a total hash of it. I have a list as long as my arm of things I’d love to change so things work in a more organised way and in a way the country can afford, but for me right at this minute whilst it should be to get Brexit done I would rather go to sleep at night knowing there are no UK residents without food, clothing or a safe and warm home. ( I personally voted to remain in the EU as I have a strong sense of ‘one world, one family)’. Whilst some may consider this a naive attitude, it’s really the only way humans will continue to thrive on this Earth. There cannot be any self-centredness. We are a race which is consuming at an alarming rate which is just not sustainable.

There is an uneven distribution of wealth and resources. I agree that those who are millionaires, billionaires, etc., may have worked hard to achieve their status and position, however, when exactly will they spend their millions and billions? Whilst there are people in abject poverty, and I include the disabled, children and families in the UK within this, there should be a corporate consortium or community alliance (or both) which will replace school breakfast clubs, food banks and other charities currently helping homeless, hungry or deprived children and families, and the disabled who are unable to work, with adequate housing, clothing and foods so no one should have to go without their very basic needs catered for. This is the 21st Century not the Victorian era of Oliver Twist’s “Please Sir, I want some more?” No thank you UK, get it sorted.

What is one item of clothing that you own that you would not want to part with?

I have a women’s Grey, round neck Waistcoat which I bought hurriedly when I saw it in a sale at Dotty P’s (Dorothy Perkins) several years ago. There are so many pictures of me throughout the years wearing it and I have no plans to throw it away yet. The thing which is great about it is that even if I am wearing a t-shirt under it I still look smart, plus it means I can wear one of my many vintage or funky brooches – right now it has a very large hand-knitted poppy because here in the UK it is Armistice Day.

How many countries have you ever visited?

I think seven. I went to France, Belgium and Holland on a school trip, Spain (Balearic Islands) in my very early twenties, the U.S.A (Philadelphia and New York; Upstate and NY,NY), Canada (Niagara Falls is best seen from the Canadian side), then Spain (Mallorca twice), Spain (Tenerife) and this Summer Spain, Italy and France as we did a cruise around the Mediterranean.

Books or e-readers?

Both. There is nothing which could replace the smell of new ink on new paper. Walking in to a book store instantly relaxes me as I feel at home, however I do love my Kindle. I have so many classics on there as well as contemporary and literary fiction and if I am going on a long journey I will take it with me as it’s not as thick or heavy as 2 thick paperbacks in the suitcase or hand luggage.

What is your favourite movie? Why?

I’m struggling to come up with just one favourite movie. If I had to strictly pick one it’d be Forrest Gump. It’s a clever premise, a man with lower than average intelligence who re-tells his life experiences during some of the most important events in the late twentieth century history of the United States of America. I find the story moving and funny but also feel it shows the best side of human nature. The clever editing-in of Forrest into these events is amusing too. Tom Hanks is my favourite actor so that’s a huge bonus for me too as I’ll watch pretty much anything with him in.

When and where do you do most of your writing?

I used to sit in the living room, either on the sofa with my laptop, in front of the telly, or at the dinner table, but hubby built me a writing and sewing studio so I’m over there most of the time now.

What has been a job that you have had that you have liked the least?

I worked in administration for a Government department. My original line manager was a bully, plus I found the work very boring and repetitive; it was like a conveyor belt; one finished, on to the next one, same processes, done, onto the next one…yawn. I just couldn’t handle it so I took a career break and finally (at 34) had the opportunity to go to University to study English Language (Linguistics). In order to start the degree I had to resign my position. It was such a hard decision (not!)

What does your morning ritual look like?

I wake up, hubby does coffee and breakfast for the cat then for both of us; I have a glass of almond milk and a small pot of nuts; with the change in the weather I think I’m going to start having the milk warmed. I then shower, dress, and depending on if I have any appointments will either do my hair or not or put on make-up or not; usually when I’m in my studio all day writing I don’t bother with either; my hair goes back in a band so it’s out of my face and I stick my glasses on.

Do you often remember your dreams when you wake up?

Yes, quite often as most of them are on the weird side.

What would be one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a blog?

Try to read every day and write every day. I’ve not been doing this too long and it’s so easy for life to get in the way. Read other blogs, like, comment and network to build your following as well as other bloggers as they’ll be grateful for every single one.

MY NOMINATIONS

blankpagesofmine

Roxi St Clair

Refresh Her

All Things Tudor

Wandering Ambivert

To Write Or Not To Write and What To Write

You Are Enough

A Real Lady Drinks Whiskey

The Alchemist’s Studio

Fictive Dream

Soul Writing Project

MY 11 QUESTIONS TO MY NOMINEES

  1. If you could close your eyes, wish to be anywhere, and when you opened your eyes, be there, where would that place be? Why?
  2. Thoughts on the plastics polluting our oceans and ideas for resolution?
  3. Who was your favourite teacher in secondary school (UK) high school (U.S) and why?
  4. How would you politely end a conversation with a person who won’t stop talking?
  5. Have you ever eaten food past it’s ‘Sell By’ or ‘Use By’ date?
  6. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
  7. If you could ask your pet 3 questions what would you ask them? If you don’t have a pet, ask a farm or a wild animal instead.
  8. It’s the start of a Zombie Apocalypse. You can only take the first 5 things you touch with any part of your body. What will they be?
  9. What is your favourite book? Why?
  10. You’re told you are going to cook for 4 celebrities. What will you cook and for who?
  11. Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte?

Well, that’s my nomination accepted, thanks again Peter 🙂

sunshine-blogger high quality

 

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Back with a…little bang…?

Hey! I went again didn’t I? I had a slight blip and fell in to a little bit of a dark hole. I then realised my plans to be fully prepped for the start of Nanowrimo 2019 on 1st November were slipping but I managed to semi sort my head out and wrote well at the start, however my son and his girlfriend came to visit for a few days and all research and writing went out of the window. As we’d not seen them for 8-9 months I wanted to be fully present.

I’d organised a surprise bonfire and sparklers for the 6th and cooked baked tatties, bangers and beans. On 7th we went to a photography studio for a 1 hour session of a mix of casual and smart shots. As we’d had no portrait sittings since late Summer 2005 it was great to know we’d have a new collection. The reason behind my wish for new pictures is because since my older sister had a major stroke a week before her 50th birthday this May, and with my 50th next Summer, I’ve become more aware of my own mortality and I’d want there to be recent pictures of us all together. I lost my Dad in 2005 and the only picture I could find of him with me was on my wedding day 12 1/2 years earlier. I’d asked for shots of Hubby and I, Hubby and I with our son, both individually and with both of us, and then some shots with his girlfriend included. They then had a few of them on their own. I am so excited and cannot wait to see the results when the photographer sends me a sneak preview and then posts me the disc with the rest on. Janine was fantastic with all of us. We were all feeling more than a bit awkward but she’s very bright and cheerful and got us all laughing and we all really enjoyed ourselves. Here’s a link to her Fleet Photographics Facebook Page. While we were back in Cambridgeshire we visited an old friend (she’s not old, I’ve just known her since she was 4!). We didn’t get back to Norfolk until late.

Nat and Gary

On Friday we all had a chilled day. I spent the time reading the pile of research books I have to help my Nano project along; I’m striving for authenticity and I’m hoping having researched my subject that it’ll show.

On Saturday it was hubby’s birthday and we celebrated with a trip to the cinema to see ‘Joker’ and then went to an American-style diner ‘Fatso’s’. I wasn’t sure about ‘Joker’. I’ve never seen ‘The Dark Knight’ where Heath Ledger portrays, what so many people insist is the best Joker characterisation ever and wondered if I should wait until after watching The Dark Knight before seeing ‘Joker’. As hubby wanted to see it while it was still in the cinemas we all went to see that. I have to say Joaquin Phoenix’ is fantastic as Joker and blew me away! If he doesn’t get at least an Oscar nomination there is something very wrong with those nominating.

So my sunshine left Norfolk 5 hours ago and after a grocery shop I’m here to let you all know I am HERE! I am BACK and I’m going to be hitting Nano full throttle. As I set myself the challenge of writing 60K words in place of the usual 50K (yes I am as mad as that seems) my daily word count should be around 2,300 – 3,000 words per day…Until next time! NN 🙂

 

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Daily Writing Meme

I found this and it’s hugely inspirational, especially as tomorrow is the beginning of #NaNoWriMo. For us fiction writers, I’d guess the majority know that #NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, but I discovered the other day there are a few people who do not know. The briefest explanation is it is a commitment/challenge for writers to complete a 50,000 word novel draft. There are non-fiction writers who do use the site now to give them a target to work towards.

The hardest thing when I write is to go without editing as I go. It’s something I’ve always done – which is why I’ve probably never had a book published as it’s just never good enough and I think if left alone I’d continue editing until I edit the story out of the story!

Anyway, for all you writers out there; Pantsers,Planners or Plantsers, who are committing to the 30 days of writing Good Luck! See you on the other side! Until next time! NN 🙂

 

Write

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Happy Halloween/Samhain

Hi Everyone

Happy Halloween! And Samhain greetings to those who follow the nature religions.

happy halloween

It’s that time of the year where we all share our love of spooks, dressing up and sweets/candy. My husband and I have done fancy dress parties several times but we’ve moved away from our friend networks so this year is a lot quieter.

Samhain

As a coincidence my #NaNoWriMo project this year is based around witchcraft so I’ve been discovering a few things I didn’t know, despite thoroughly checking out different traditions, etc., for previous parties. Hopefully, if you buy the book this project is to become you’ll be able to learn some of these new things throughout the pages.

I may be disappearing quite a bit as I am determined that this will be THE year I actually earn the NANOWINNER t-shirt I’ve bought in 2 prior years, but never actually deserved. My third is on order, however and I am going to wear it on 1st December and photograph myself in it to share with all of you!

I’m determined to try and write short posts and continue Word of the Day, Writing Memes, Reading Memes and Inspirational posts as I do enjoy hunting out things to share.

If you’re heading out to celebrate either of the festivals tonight, stay safe and enjoy yourself! Until next time! NN 🙂

 

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Word of the Day – Malfeasance

Today’s word is ‘Malfeasance’ and today’s dictionary is the Cambridge Dictionary

malfeasance

EXAMPLES of malfeasance

malfeasance
Against a background of corporate greed and malfeasance, a renewed focus on transparency and accountability is or seems to be permeating the business world.

Donors have often stressed the lack of ‘political will ‘, to account for limited action against high-level state malfeasance.
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Word of the Day #29

Today’s Word is ‘Galbanum’ and today’s dictionary is Collins Dictionary

Galbanum

noun

a bitter aromatic gum resin extracted from any of several Asian umbelliferous plants of the genus Ferula, esp F. galbaniflua, and used in incense and medicinally as a counterirritant.
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Word of the Day #28

Today’s word is ‘Phosphene’ and today’s dictionary is Merriam-Webster.com

phosphene

noun

phos·​phene | \ ˈfäs-ˌfēn  \
An impression of light that occurs without light entering the eye and is usually caused by stimulation of the retina (as by pressure on the eyeball when the lid is closed) or by excitation of neurons in the visual system (as by transcranial magnetic stimulation). Early studies have demonstrated that direct electrical stimulation to neurons of the visual system will cause a subject to perceive points of light (phosphenes).— George Scarlatis
phosphenes gif

Phosphenes is the word you’re looking for to describe the luminous floating stars, zigzags, swirls, spirals, squiggles, and other shapes that you see when closing your eyes tight and pressing them with your fingers. Basically, these phenomena occur when the cells of the retina are stimulated by rubbing or after a forceful sneeze, cough, or blow to the head.

History and Etymology for phosphene

The word phosphene comes from the Greek words phōs (light) and phainein (to show). Phaineinis also a contributing element in such words as diaphanous, emphasis, epiphany and phenomenon among others.

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Word of the Day #27

Today’s Word is ‘Irrational’ and today’s dictionary is Lexico.com

irrational

ADJECTIVE

Not logical or reasonable.

‘irrational feelings of hostility’
1.Not endowed with the power of reason.
‘Whenever you encounter a system that seems so irrational, you should ponder what’s going on beneath the surface.’
‘Man is an irrational being, morals are irrational, and have no metaphysical foundation which make them “real” or worth paying any attention to.’

 

2.Mathematics
(of a number, quantity, or expression) not expressible as a ratio of two integers, and having an infinite and non-recurring expansion when expressed as a decimal. Examples of irrational numbers are the number π and the square root of 2.

NOUN

Mathematics

  • An irrational number or quantity; a surd.

Origin

Late Middle English from Latin irrationalis, from in- ‘not’ + rationalis (see rational).

Pronunciation

irrational

/ɪˈraʃ(ə)n(ə)l/

SYNONYMS
unreasonable, illogical, groundless, baseless, unfounded, unjustifiable, unsound
absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous, silly, foolish, senseless, nonsensical, laughable, idiotic, stupid, wild
untenable, implausible, unscientific, arbitrary
informal crazy, mad
British informal barmy, daft
North American informal backasswards
ANTONYMS

rational, logical

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Reading Meme #6

I LOVE this meme! I taught my son the alphabet when he was 18 months old and read to him every night. I truly believe the earlier you start reading to them and introducing them to letters and numbers the easier they will find it to learn. Besides that, it’s introducing them to all the different worlds which exist inside and outside of our minds and our world. My son is now a writer – I’m waiting for him to set up his own blog as his stuff is amazing. I’ll be sharing as soon as he does it.

Its-Called-Reading

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Word of the Day #26

Today’s word is ‘Kalopsia’ and today’s dictionary is Your Dictionary

kalopsia

kalopsia

Noun(uncountable)

The delusion of things being more beautiful than they are.

‘China can bring on serious bouts of kalopsia in otherwise intelligent observers’ – The Times, April 24 2006
[kal-op–see–uh]

-noun. a condition, state or delusion in which things appear more beautiful than they really are. As a combination of the Greek roots kallos, meaning beauty, and opsis, meaning sight (or opos, meaning eyes), in English kalopsia can also mean beautiful sight or with beautiful eyes

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Creative Writing Challenge – Use these words in a story: grandfather, photo album, post office, and folder

Today was the day I’d been dreading for over a month. Grandfather had died five weeks ago and after the funeral was finally over just three short days ago it was time for us all to meet at the solicitor’s office for the reading of his will.

I didn’t much want to go, for it was unlikely he’d be bestowing much on me, as I’d disappeared for several years, which I won’t go into now, but I had my reasons. That does sound melodramatic and even stereotypical but that is what it is or was.

The smell which greeted us all as we made our way in through the hallway and up the grumbling staircase was one of age; that incredibly musty, trapped-in-history smell, of papers and folders ceiling-high in what you’d hope; if for the secretaries even if for no one else, was an organised state of disorganisation.

My brother was huffing impatiently, checking his watch about every ten seconds to see if time had moved on far enough for him to get back to work. His hands anxiously scraping through his hair when he saw only a matter of seconds had passed.

Dad had passed away eleven years ago and so everything he would have inherited was likely to be shared between us three siblings. As I said I’m not sure I’ll be included now as I feel it’ll be a case of ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ and if I had been left anything Ian and Charlie were sure to contest it for years.

Mr Benjamin stood in the doorway of his office and called the five of us in. Mum made it her duty to get there first, so she was right under his nose. She was expecting a percentage of something from Dad’s inheritance too, claiming that as his ex-wife he should or would have made provision for her in her old age too. Why is what I want to know. She did the dirty on him and flew off into the world with the alleged love of her life, although he was not but strangely, she didn’t realise that had been Dad until he died. Families are strange things.

I sat at the back and let Uncle Matthew sit at the front with Mum and Ian. I wanted to be invisible, or ethereal, ghost-like. I felt that I should have stayed at home and just hear from Mr Benjamin when this was over. Charlie was not here, and Mr Benjamin mirrored Ian’s earlier actions, obviously anxious to start. He shuffled his papers, read a few lines then glanced back up, checked his watch, doublechecking with the ancient wall clock the time was correct. Giving a rasping sigh he looked up at the clock one final time before clearing his throat and beginning.

Half an hour later we all left the office confused and there was a hum of discussion which had been lacking prior to the appointment, although Charlie was hissing at Mum as she had scolded him for arriving late. There was precious little in the estate. Apparently, Grandfather had sold or mortgaged everything years ago and there were several legal commitments concerning those which would leave a big, fat zero.

For me, there was no disappointment as I had expected nothing. The one thing which had been bequeathed to me left me more confused than everyone else as it was something palpable, real. A photograph album. It was in the back-sitting room at the house and I was to collect it before tomorrow evening.

We all travelled to a swish restaurant for a meal which had already been paid by Grandfather. Mum was mouthing off at why Grandfather had left nothing and her entitlement to at least some of the non-existent estate. I had the feeling she had been relying on it for her own retirement. She’d just have to find some other man to jet off into the sunset with.

These family meals were a joke. There was no sense of family; no concern for the other parties despite the blood connection, no interest in each other’s lives, relationships or circumstances. Sad for others, but I have no remorse; left all the sentimental slush back far beyond the customary glimpse from the rear-view mirror. I was glad when everyone skipped dessert for coffees and even happier when the evening was over.

I jumped in a taxi with the briefest of goodbyes to everyone. There was nothing left to say; had been precious little over an uncomfortable dinner saturated with stilted, insincere conversation. Not wanting to return to my hotel room straight away I asked the driver to drop me outside some houses in a street I knew. Turning as if entering one of them I watched as the taxi pulled away and as soon as he was out of sight I turned and headed through the alley to the side of the terraces which led to the river.

Sitting on a bench in the darkness seems a crazy thing to do but I knew this town and the immediate vicinity very well. On the other side of the river was the land which led directly up to the mansion I would visit for the last time tomorrow.

My thoughts returned to my Grandfather, a man who had been kind, loving and even fun until the day everything changed for the entire family; the day Grandfather was at the centre of a voyeurism accusation and, despite his denials over a lengthy period of time, was discredited and with a full case of evidence found in the cellar, found guilty and sent to prison for fifteen months.

The scandal led to familial disgrace and many of us were assaulted, humiliated and suffered allegations and degradation to the basest of levels. I lost my friends, my boyfriend, had my hair pulled out in clumps at school and found excrement every night at the bottom of my bed until I’d been caught smearing it into the pillows of the three girls I knew had been responsible and had been suspended and sent home, which was the place I least wanted to be.

I must have fallen asleep as I was suddenly wide awake as could hear loud singing coming in my direction. Partygoers; lucky them. I stood and walked back through the alley to the terraces. My hotel was a short walk on the same side of the road, and I made my way quickly toward it, sighing with relief when I entered the warm, bright reception area.

Why do tomorrows approach so fast? It was already the morning and the alarm on my mobile phone was singing to me. I covered my head with the pillow but eventually admitted defeat and leant over to switch off the screeching 1990s track which I used to force me out of sleep. I wasn’t looking forward to today, apart from the taxi ride which would take me back out of here in the middle of the day, and sooner if I could do it. Collecting a photograph album from the mansion wasn’t going to take me long and I had no plans for a sickly-sweet plan to reminisce.

Arriving at the mansion I was met by Walter, who had been Grandfather’s assistant forever. We had all known the relationship between them was closer than implied; but in a time where acceptance wasn’t the watch word, they’d preferred to spurn recognition.

I hugged Walter briefly and he followed me to the rear sitting room. There was a tray with two large mugs of tea and an open tin of Family Circle biscuits on the coffee table. I smiled for the first time in quite a while. Walter used to save the smiley face, jam and cream-filled biscuits in a separate tub just for me and if I’d not visited for a while there’d usually be a whole tub of smiles waiting for me. The joy I felt at someone doing something so simple but perfect for me was cute and I felt understood like nobody ever had before.

We sat for half an hour. Walter was interested in me, my life and I opened up a little, shared some of what had been going on in New York. He then reached over to the side table, picked up the photograph album and passed it to me. Turning over the cover I saw my Grandfather and I in a number of natural, non-posed pictures. I was smiling or giggling in every one of them. As I turned the pages I saw more of the same and the silly tears formed and escaped my eyes leaving a long trail of salt down my cheeks. I desperately wanted to leave but felt obligated to stay for Walter’s sake.

The last page had a document tucked into the space between the sticky clear cover and board base of the page. It was the deeds to the mansion. They were in Walter’s name. I smiled through the tears, glad that the man who had devoted his life to Grandfather even when life had gone bad was being acknowledged now.

There was another document with the deeds. A sealed envelope addressed to my New York apartment. Walter took the document, telling me I was not to read the document until after my return and that Grandfather had left strict instructions the document was to be posted once I’d received the photo album.

Thanking Walter for his care I made plans to leave. He offered to drive me into town to save me calling for a taxi. After all he had to go to the Post Office to send the envelope to my home.

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Word of the Day #25

Today’s word of the day is ‘Extirpate’ and today’s dictionary is the Oxford Concise English Dictionary. For the full definitions from the OED please see below. The alternative words we would use in modern society for extirpate are obliterate, annihilate and expunge.

extirpate 1

extirpatev.

Frequency (in current use):  
Etymology: < Latin ex(s)tirpāt- participial stem of ex(s)tirpāre , < ex- (see ex- prefix1) + stirps stem or stock of a tree. Compare extirp v.(Show Less)
1. transitive. To clear of stumps. In quot. 1548 figurativeObsolete.
1548   Hall’s Vnion: Henry VII f. iiii   He might wede, extirpate, and purdge the myndes of men.

(Hide quotations)

 2.

 a. To pull or pluck up by the roots; to root up, destroy, or remove root and branch (a tree, plant).

b. transferred.
c1666   in Murray Lincolnshire (1890) 24   The old Church..having been ‘extirpated by a hurricane’ in 1666.

3.

 a. To root out, exterminate, or totally destroy (a class, sect, or nation); to kill off, and render extinct (a species of animals or plants). Const. out offrom.

 b. In weaker sense: To do away with, render extinct as such (a specified class of persons); to root out utterly, break up (a gang of thieves). Formerly also, †to drive out, clear away (persons) from a locality, etc.

 extirpateadj.

Etymology: < Latin ex(s)tirpātus, past participle of ex(s)tirpāre : used as past participle of extirpate v.)

Obsolete.

As past participle: rooted out, destroyed utterly, rendered extinct.

extirpate 2

 

 

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Word of the Day #24

Today’s word is ‘Gossamer’ and today’s dictionary is Dictionary.com

noun

adjective

Also gos·sa·mer·y  [gosuh-muh-ree] gos·sa·mered. of or like gossamer; thin and light.
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Creative Writing Challenge – Begin with “I thought I saw…”

I thought I saw Elvis Presley in the reading corner of my local library this morning. Of course it wasn’t ‘The King’ as he died in 1977. I was only a kid and I cried – Mum said that I was a fan even as a baby.

Why would Elvis even be in the local library? We’re thousands of miles away from the U.S here, and Memphis, or Graceland. He was wearing Black drainpipe trousers and an open-necked shirt; looking like he did in his heyday, so either he followed a fantastic diet and had a whole range of plastic surgery done or he’s dead as no one should look that great at 84. Although, it is great what surgeons can do these days.

The thing is I also saw Prince. He was wearing a beautiful shiny Purple jacket with a very high collar. I was surprised by how short he was. I mean I knew he was short as heard it on the telly but when I saw him he was even shorter than I’d imagined. I’m sure he was wearing boots with platform heels too – at least 4- or 5- inch heels. The boots were Purple too. He definitely has, or had a Purple fetish – a bit like me with turquoise. I’ll search anywhere for a gorgeous turquoise dress. Anyway, I digress. Prince was entering the library as I left. I wondered what the **** was going on. I wonder whether he was going to meet Elvis for a chinwag or just for some peace and quiet. Maybe he was returning books, although he didn’t have a bag with him. I didn’t spot any book-shaped bulges anywhere either.

I think I must be hallucinating, or maybe I have a brain tumour pressing on my neocortex or thalamus (the parts of my brain which work the imagination). Maybe a little bubble of a tumour took root somewhere and grew and grew until it made me see dead legends. I’m not sure I’ll mind that.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. David Bowie was in the local Co-op. I tried to have a nose at what he had his in basket but he turned away before I could see. Thankfully he wasn’t looking ill anymore, or that old really. I loved him in all his guises but thought he was really hot in the 1980s when he released Blue Jean, China Girl, Let’s Dance, etc I’d have loved to have been able to stand in front of him long enough to see his different coloured eyes. I wonder if the kids he went to school at took the p*** out of him for that. I have dark brown eyes which have been described as pools of melted chocolate. I guess the only way to have taken the p out of them would have been for them to be called piles of dog sh*t instead. I’ll have to ask Emma next time I see her. She was my friend all the way through school and I know she’d tell me if I ask.

Thankfully, I made it home without seeing any other dead legends. As I unlocked the front door and went through it I called out a ‘Hi’ to my hubby.

‘You’ll never guess who I saw in the library!’

Walking along the hallway I could hear him talking to someone and oddly he’d ignored my call. I walked in to the lounge and there he was sat having a cuppa and biscuits with Pete Burns. I’m off to book a brain scan.

Creative Writing Featured Image via BBC.co.uk
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Reading Meme #1

There’s nothing like a book to make me feel happy. When I move house they’re the last things to be packed and the first things to be unpacked. Having them with me makes me feel at home, like I belong. I get the same feeling when I enter a bookshop. Firstly, I love that new book smell. That is home to me. Hubby has often gone off elsewhere only to come back to find me still browsing after an hour or two. I’ve just moved into my newly built studio and the first thing I did was to unpack several boxes of books into here so I have them around me. A long, deep sigh left me once that was done and my friend and hubby both smiled because they knew why! What do books mean to you? As a blogger and writer I’ll automatically presume you’ll also be an avid reader. How do your books make you feel? NN 🙂

Jane Smiley Quote
Picture from https://www.panmacmillan.com/blogs/literary/books-make-the-best-valentines
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Writing Meme #24

And back to it I go, after a ‘few days off’ unpacking boxes into my studio. I like this quote as it tells it like it is. We have to put in the work to be successful at what we do. We need to aim for the stars and be an unstoppable force. Go do it! 🙂

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Creative Writing Challenge 5 Write a story revolving around an object in your room.

Silver Dancer

She’d been dancing forever. Romantic or passionate waltzes, sensual tangos and god knows how many Rumbas and Cha-Chas.

Now, she was celebrating 50 years of feather steps and pique turns amongst all the others and considering whether to hang up her dancing shoes. The gala tonight would be an excellent opportunity to announce it to the world’s media, as well as the hangers-on and the sharks; those two-faced, arse-licking, yes-creeps who had followed her around the world, weighing her down with all the extra baggage having assistants, attendants and coordinators came with.

Oh to be free…

Photo taken by me 5th October 2019

Rose didn’t mention her intentions to anyone and spent half a day tapping out notice letters to the entourage, all of whom would be served their notice by 2 temps immediately after her retirement announcement. She was including references and cheques for wages owed, notice periods and a compensatory redundancy rate calculated by her accountant.

She wanted to rub her hands together gleefully every time she thought about the gala and struggled to hide her excitement but was able to disguise it by discussing her impending 3 week cruise to the Caribbean, which was well needed.

After a light lunch she headed to the hotel to prepare. Her personal assistant, dressmaker, hairdresser and make-up artist were waiting for her. She’d chosen a silver jewelled and sequinned dress with a bright white under dress. She was hoping it would look fabulous, especially as she had cultivated a beautifully-wide, silver streak in her fringe which had started to appear a couple of years ago. She’d started to mature into an attractive quinquagenarian.

She was aware she’d never be another Carolyn Carlson, Sarah (Paddy) Jones or Eileen Kramer and had resigned herself to retirement at 55. Her hips were the only part of her which felt her age. She was still supple and fit but clunked and clicked when she moved now; she knew she was well on her way to hip replacement surgery; instinct and self-preservation had whispered then demanded she stop.

So beautiful a reflection. The dress fit like a glove. Her hair and make-up made for a stunning look overall and she felt supremely confident and ready for her evening.

She entered the ballroom from the central staircase and floated down the steps, the throng of invited guests and media representatives turning to gaze in awe at this lustrous vision before them.

No sooner had she made the floor before the usual tangle of reporters and photographers appeared before her. Gracefully spreading out her arms she asked that they all stand back to make room for her and her entourage, who were all, of course invited.

She’d been working the room for nearly 3 hours when the event host interrupted to announce she would be taking to the floor and then making a speech. The time was coming close.

She walked to the bottom step where she was met by Kola who was waiting, his arms ready for her.

They danced a display dance never before seen by her fans and acquaintances. The program was choreographed jointly and was faultless; the audience reaction was gauged by regular gasps, rounds of applause and excited screaming.

She was in her element as the dance ended; as they presented themselves to further rapturous applause.

Kola accompanied her up the stairs where she took the microphone from the host. Thanking everyone for coming; for their generous gifts and celebratory messages.

She then paused and the hum in the room gradually lowered to a sound-less peace. She cleared her throat and all the words she’d prepared so avidly disappeared. She looked at the throngs of people below her; knew she owed every one of them gratitude for where she was and tried to tell them.

She took a deep breath and started to speak. Gracefully acknowledging and praising those she wanted to thank for half a century of hard work, dedication, faith and loyalty. She then looked around the room. The next part of the speech caused a new hum, growing louder as the shock of her retirement announcement rippled through the room. She said a quick thank you before stepping away from the steps and backing through a curtain into the corridor leading to her suite.

She was free!

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Word of the Day #18

Urban Dictionary Today’s word is ‘Tsundoku’ and today’s dictionary is Urban Dictionary.

(Noun) The tsundoku, that Ode to the Great Unread, Shrine to the Word, Bibliophile’s Inukshuk, Pillar of Light and Savior of Sorts, is the artistic and/or scientific materialization of piling up newly acquired books, for utilitarian (lack of reading time/space/bookshelves) and/or psycho-pathologic (abibliophobia, fetish, OCD, hoarding or addiction) reasons.

The term dates back to the japanese Meiji era (1868-1912) and literally means ‘reading pile’. Formed from the expression ‘tsunde oku’ (to let something pile up), in which ‘oku’ was swapped out for ‘doku’ (to read); the words then got cleverly mushed together.

The tsundoku scale ranging from just one unread book to a serious hoard, everyone is most likely to be “tsundokursed” one way or the other. Luckily, this isn’t the worst problem one can have.I have no feelings of guilt regarding the piles of books I have not read and perhaps will never read; I know that my tsundokus have unlimitedpatience. They will wait for me till the end of my days. Definition article by PAR1138 October 20, 2017

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Word of the Day #17

I love words and I’m enjoying sharing words here every day but I’m taking today to refer you to a great page on Facebook by a writer who is also a logophile to a grand extent. The page is Grandiloquent Word of the Day and every day there is shared the ‘Grandiloquent Word of the Day’ and they really are amusing, charming and sometimes hilariously funny words. Here was the ‘Grandiloquent Word of the Day’ for 1st October 2019.

Sphygmomanometer

Sphygmomanometer [sfig-moh-muh-NOM-i-ter]
(n.)- An instrument used for measuring blood pressure.

From Greek “sphygmos” (a pulse) from “sphyzein” (to throb, pulse, beat)
+
Manometer (instrument for indicating the pressure of vapors) from French “manomètre” from Greek “manos” (thin, rare, scanty, few) from Proto-Indo-European root “men-” (small, isolated)
+
French “-mètre” from Greek “metron” (a measure) from Proto-Indo-European root “me-” (to measure)

Used in a sentence:
“I’m sure that you must realize, that is altogether the wrong appendage upon which to be checking your blood pressure; we don’t even have a sphygmomanometer cuff small enough for that… no, no, that’s alright, you can keep it… I’m afraid I must insist.”

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Writing Meme #17

Today’s writing meme is a quote from J.K Rowling. I love her idea and I don’t know many writers who would turn down a chance like this. Sitting and writing with hustle and bustle going on around me is enjoyable for me, although when I take a break from writing it’s great to people watch. I sometimes look at people and wonder what their stories are. The heavily pregnant lady with a baby in a pram, or the elderly couple sitting and talking about Trump. The group of 10 or 11 people who have pulled 3 tables together and huddle around them talking. Some great inspiration just from a couple of minutes. NN 🙂

JKRowling Notebook